Facebook’s Oculus virtual-reality unit is temporarily slashing the price of an Oculus VR headset and two controllers to $399 — down from $598 — as the company tries to boost sales of the high-end gear.
The special 33% bundle price discount is available for the next six weeks, as part of Oculus’ “Summer of Rift” event, which has included up to 60% discounts on more than 30 VR titles available for Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR.
The moves by Oculus suggests that sales of its pricey VR gear have been sluggish. The $399 price point of the Rift and two Touch controllers matches that of Sony’s PlayStation VR.
Facebook acquired Oculus in a $3 billion deal in 2014, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg envisioning VR as becoming a major computing and communications platform.
Oculus began shipping the consumer-targeted Oculus Rift headset in the first quarter of 2016 for $599, and after delays the Oculus Touch controllers hit the market for $99 apiece last December. In March, Oculus launched the Rift and two-controller bundle priced at $598.
In May Oculus shuttered its award-winning studio, which produced several VR short films including “Dear Angelica” and “Henry,” and cancelled all ongoing projects, shifting fully to a strategy of supporting third-party content production.
Oculus touted a lineup of more than 500 titles available for Rift, including games like “Batman: Arkham VR,” “Star Trek: Bridge Crew,” “Robo Recall,” “Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality” and “Wilson’s Heart”; multiplayer games like “Echo Arena” and “The Unspoken”; and social apps like Facebook Spaces.
“There’s never been a better time to step into Rift,” Oculus said in a blog post announcing the price cut. The question is how many consumers will bite even on the discounted offers, as the still-emerging VR industry tries to find a sustainable user base.